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New York-Based Designer Karim Rashid Held at JFK Airport by US Border Entry

New York-based industrial designer Karim Rashid has revealed in a Facebook post that he was held at the JFK airport by US Border Entry. He was rejected by Global Entry, after an 18-hour flight from Tbilisi, Georgia, because of his ‘Muslim’ name, it seems. “After flying 18 hours from Tbilisi, Georgia, I landed in JFK to be rejected at Global Entry. I was put in the border customs and immigration room for over an hour. I watched many immigrants come in and out and I was the longest in the room,” said Rashid.

Rashid was born in Egypt, but he grew up in Canada. He holds a Canadian passport and has been a legal citizen of the US for 13 years now. He studied design at Carleton University in Ottawa and followed with graduate studies at Rodolfo Bonetto Studio in Milan. His New-York based design studio is 25 years old now, and he was described by Time Magazine as the “most famous industrial designer in all the Americas.” He designs furniture, luxury goods, and packages, among other varieties, and he is best known for his “blobular” products, made from plastic alloy and glass. Although he carries an Arabic name, Rashid has, also, revealed in his post that he is not even Muslim.

Rashid believes he was held at the airport because of his “Muslim” name which might be on a watch list. He was seated in a “dirty disgusting space”, and he was not allowed to use the phone. He added, “When I wanted to go to the toilet I was escorted and watched in a holding room with hooks for handcuffs.” Finally, the authorities received a phone call which verified Rashid’s identity, and he was released. Here is Rashid’s complete statement.

The commotion that happened with Rashid, was the result of controversial decisions taken by the new US President Donald Trump, which limit entry to non-US citizens to the country. Actually, Rashid was not the first in the field to face such an ordeal. Juan Garcia Mosqueda, owner of Chamber Design Gallery in Chelsea, New York, was also held at the airport, and moreover, he was, finally, denied entry to the city and got sent back to Buenos Aires.

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